Dear Lord, but we are a gullible lot. (I chose “gullible” over several stronger but no less accurate words.) And each of us apparently considers the others to be dumb as a pile of rocks. That belief is the foundation of corporate and political America, and I am truly amazed at not only how stupid they think we are, but by the fact that too often that belief is justified.
They stroke our egos with one hand and rifle through our wallets with the other. And they have reached the conclusion that we’ll fall for anything if it sounds good enough. Banks, without our permission, take money from our checking accounts, switch it to our savings account, and proudly crow about how they are saving us money. The word “bullshit” leaps readily to mind.
We’re told we can get a Free Credit Report, without mentioning that it isn’t “Free” until we shell out our good money to become a “member” of something or other.
Cars used to be “used.” Now they are “pre-owned.” All the difference in the world! And we can get astonishing savings on the purchase of a new car if we are a “well-qualified buyer” without giving us a clue what they mean by “well-qualified.” We are told that “No loan application is refused!” without mentioning that there is a considerable difference between accepting an application and approving the loan.
We can buy almost anything with “No Payments or Interest Until 2755!” Uh.....I’ve never quite figured that one out, but if it means I’ll still be paying for it in 2755, I don’t think I’m interested.
If I’m told I can get $300 off on the purchase of a new gadget, I wonder if I’m the only one curious about what the cost must normally be if they can lower it by $300 and still make a profit. (And have no doubt…no company is in business to lose money.)
Fast food restaurants lure us in with commercials showing at a “typical” one of their franchises in which at least fifteen people are simultaneously jumping up and down and sloshing Cokes all over each other in the excitement of having won tons of money. And no one ever seems to notice the astonishing difference between the items displayed on the posters and what is actually handed us.
Billboards and TV ads show us mouth-watering, 10-inch high sandwiches, open buckets of chicken with pieces piled high (a favorite phrase) above the rim. They apparently assume no one is going to be smart enough to wonder how they manage to put the lid on the bucket. Or, more importantly, they don’t care.
People who attend sporting events are obviously hard of hearing, which is why, I am sure, all commercials pertaining to them are screamed at the top of the announcer’s lungs. In print media, Second-Coming type is required for “special” sales (ONCE-IN-A-LIFETIME ANNUAL PRE-GROUNDHOG DAY SAVINGS!!!) to alert the brain-dead to the spectacular values being offered.
We're told “This 1849 $50 gold piece is now worth $87,000,000!! Own your own genuine replica, plated in .0000004 REAL GOLD for only $19.99”. And then we are cautioned that there is a “strict limit” of five per customer! Really? Wanna bet that if anyone is stupid enough to want 400 of the worthless pieces of dreck, they'd be more than happy to bend the rules just for you?
Organizations like Publisher’s Clearing House show delirious winners (all, coincidentally, standing in front of well kept, upper-class homes...it’s probably too difficult for the cameras to walk up to a fifth-floor tenement) shouting and screaming in disbelief at their good fortune. At least I can appreciate their disbelief, since I share it wholeheartedly. Have you ever entered a Publisher’s Clearing House Sweepstake? Have you ever won a Publisher’s Clearing House Sweepstake? The prosecution rests.
As I say, we are a silly lot, and no one is more so than I, for letting this sort of nonsense get to me.
Dorien's blogs are posted by 10 a.m. Central time every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. Please take a moment to visit his website (http://www.doriengrey.com) and, if you enjoy these blogs, you might want to check out Short Circuits: a Life in Blogs (http://bit.ly/m8CSO1).